Robots Don't Wear Belts, Science!

Robots Don’t Wear Belts: Driverless Cars

Robots are the future. There is really no doubt about that. As technologies advance more and more things that we took for granted as human activities will become the responsibilities of automated machines. It will happen sooner than most of us think and the result will be a profound change in our way of life. Perhaps there is no better example of this than the rise of autonomous vehicles.
In the United States, there are nearly 800 automobiles for every 1,000 people. Driving is something we do on a daily basis. Even those of us who don’t own cars ourselves tend to rely on buses, cabs, and ride-sharing apps. About 3.5 million Americans are employed as professional truck drivers. By 2025 they will most likely be unemployed. But this is not the section of the blog where we talk about public policy of economics. This is the part of the blog where we talk about robots and how cool they are. I just thought it was worth pointing out the potential ramifications of this technology before we dove into how far its come.
So what constitutes an autonomous vehicle? Well, basically any automobile that can operate itself without human input (beyond entering the destination I mean). These vehicles have computers that use sensor and detectors based on radar, GPS, odometry and image recognition software to plot their own course. Its a lot of information for a computer to process and pilot programs have been very cautious in there testing because of the potential harms if the system fails while out on a public road.
But it appears as after a long wait their time has finally arrived. Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving project) announced in late 2017 that their self-driving vehicles would be ready to carry passengers on public roads sometime this year. GM has announced that by the end of 2019 they will be mass producing autonomous cars by the end of 2019 (they also have big plans for their own ride-share service). Most other automakers are playing catch-up with the industry curve and predict they will have their own self-driving models by 2021. Likely this will not be when you can buy your own autonomous vehicle but will be a limited release in major metropolitan areas in conjunction with ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
I guess all of that is to say the future is here guys and gals so get excited.

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